White Sox Morel updates his progress
After pulling himself out of a rehab game with Class AAA Charlotte on June 8, Brent Morel knew it was going to be a while before he was ready to get back on a baseball field.
Morel, the White Sox' starting third baseman to open the season, has been dealing with back pain since spring training.
He tried playing through the injury, but Morel was done after playing a May 17 game against the Los Angeles Angels. In 35 games with the Sox this season, he batted .177 with no home runs and 5 RBI.
"It's tough," Morel said Friday on a conference call before beginning another rehab assignment, this one with Class A Winston-Salem.
After ending his stay with Charlotte in early June, Morel visited famed back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles and was given a strengthening program.
Morel has been working the program at his off-season home in Bakersfield, Calif., and it has helped get his back and hips in proper alignment. After such a long layoff, he said he is not going to rush to get back to the White Sox.
"Before, I was really kind of pushing it to get back as soon as I could," Morel said. "Now, I'm just kind of making sure I'm 100 percent healthy. Just taking the actual time I needed and doing it right, that's been important.
"I think that's why they sent me back. It's so hard to sit out and you're so eager to play and help out the best you can. I needed to give my body the time it needed to get healthy."
If he does stay healthy and rejoins the White Sox, Morel is aware of his status.
General manager Kenny Williams initially signed Orlando Hudson to replace Morel, but the move didn't work out. Getting Kevin Youkilis in a June 24 trade from the Boston Red Sox has given the White Sox a huge boost.
"Youkilis has helped balance out the lineup a lot," Morel said. "We weren't getting a lot of production out of third base when I was in there, and when I wasn't in there. For them to go out and get him and see the impact it's had on the team, it's been fun to watch."
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